Togo detains 3 protest leaders, 53 others after demonstrations flex their muscles and bring thousands to the streets
June 17, 2012
Authorities in the West African nation of Togo have detained three protest leaders and 53 others over demonstrations in recent days that were dispersed with tear gas, according to officials.
“Following protests organised on June 12, 13 and 14 by the group of associations and political parties named the Let’s Save Togo collective, deliberate violence, destruction and damage were committed against individuals and public and private goods,” a statement from prosecutors said.
“A total of 56 people are currently in custody.”
The statement said they included three organisers. According to the Let’s Save Togo collective, they were its leader Zeus Ajavon and two other officials from the group.
“Three officials from the collective, including its coordinator Zeus Ajavon, as well as two journalists, were detained on Saturday by the intelligence and investigation services and held at the gendarmerie,” a statement from the group said.
It also alleged that the homes of two opposition figures, including former presidential candidate Jean-Pierre Fabre, were surrounded on Saturday as they prepared to attend a rally.
Togolese security forces took over an area where a third day of protests that had drawn thousands was to be held on Thursday after police fired tear gas to disperse demonstrators the previous day.